A weekly column by Catherine Dugan. This week: A trip on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry
Travel south to Cape May and you are likely to hear, or sing, a few choruses of “On the Way to Cape May,” especially if a member of your party is of retirement age. Travel north, on the Cape May/Lewes Ferry, and the tune is “The Ferry Boat Serenade.” The English-language version of this Italian tune was popularized by the Andrews sisters, and, as World War II history tours of the Delaware Bay become more popular, your chances of avoiding this infectious tune shrink.
I love to ride the ferry
Where music is so merry
There’s a man who plays the concertina
On the moonlit upper deck arena
Danny and Glynn Dugan came from North Carolina recently to attend an informal reunion of the Woodbridge High School Class of 1975, held at a home in North Cape May. They took the first ferry from Delaware, met a group of history buffs on their way to MAC’s World War II trolley tour, and came ashore with a new appreciation for the Andrews Sisters.
Danny considers the ferry the best part of his biannual drive back to New Jersey. The 17-mile, 85-minute trip may not save you time, but it saves you driving. You can nap, eat, drink, and socialize. You can watch friendly dolphins play in the ship’s wake. You can shop for souvenirs. If you have kids or grandkids, you can frolic with Lighthouse Pete, the furry ferry mascot. You can bring your own furry mascot – leashed dogs are allowed on the outer decks. The Dugans were early for the first ferry from the Delaware side, and therefore were first on board. “I felt like I was driving the boat,” said Dan.
Daytrippers also love the ferry, which is, first and foremost, a delightful boat ride. You can bring your car or bicycle, or go on foot and take advantage of the shuttle buses to tour Delaware’s beaches and historic sites. Great outlet shopping is also available. At the end of a long day in Delaware, you return to Cape May as the sun sets over the bay.
Reservations are recommended, especially if you are bringing the car, and a photo ID is required for adults. Get there 30 minutes early to check in. Let someone else drive for a while, and you’ll love the ferry, too.
Next week: Yoga on the Beach